Marketers, advertisers and designers are all creative people at the core. Whether you are coming up with the art or the copy for a client, you need to pull from your deep well of originality to get results.
That’s no easy task. Do your best ideas happen only after you walk around the office, drink a cup of coffee and spin in your chair two or three (or 20) times? Maybe you have to pace the halls before the thoughts can freely flow?
But it’s the eccentricities that establish this thinking pattern as different than run of the mill work.
“Creative people have a reputation for eccentricity. It’s not hard to see why when we consider the habits of some well-known creatives,” says Mark McGuinness, author of Why Creative People Need to be Eccentric.
He quotes Truman Capote: “I am a completely horizontal author. I can’t think unless I’m lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I’ve got to be puffing and sipping.”
While you might not have the luxury of stretching out on a couch every time you need to deliver the goods, you can tap into the power of “eccentricity” to get results and keep your clients happy. It turns out that the secret behind it all is actually … creating a routine.
According to McGuinness, it isn’t just any old routine. It is accessing what he calls, a hypnotic trigger, which has three characteristics that he outlines as:
- Uniqueness – it must be something (or a combination of things) that you don’t associate with other activities.
- Emotional intensity – that feeling you experience when you’re really immersed in creative work.
- Repetition – the more times you experience this trigger, the stronger the association becomes.
Mix these three together and you have the perfect conditions for creativity. It’s the uniqueness, relates McGuinness, that gets labeled as “eccentricity.” But it’s the eccentricities that establish this thinking pattern as different than run of the mill work.
“Capote doubtless smoked and drank coffee at other times, but the unique combination of lying down + puffing + sipping came to be so strongly associated with his writing process that he could not even ‘think’ unless he was lying down,” he says.
It’s likely that you have some hypnotic triggers that you didn’t even realize. Next time you sit down to work on a project, check out your triggers and take notes. You may even be able to trigger some creativity by going through your routine, tricking your brain into thinking it’s time to start pumping out the good stuff.